The Somerville-wide Open Studios is a much-anticipated event when it comes around each May, so Vernon Street Studios is opening its doors to the community this weekend for its own version of Open Studios.
The 80-plus artists’ studios at 6 and 20 Vernon St. will be open from noon-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2. Artists of all kinds, from sculptors and painters to photographers and fiber artists, among many others, will be on hand showcasing and selling their wares.
“It’s going to be right in time for holidays, which is why we decided to do it then,” said Heather Balchunas, an artist at Vernon Street who works for the Somerville Arts Council.
Vernon Street puppeteer Faye Dupras
In addition to providing a venue for locals to purchase holiday presents, the December Open Studios event also gives the community a chance to visit Vernon Street in a less high-pressure environment than the spring event.
People often tell Balchunas that “we can’t see everything” during the May city-wide Open Studios, so this extra weekend gives both Somervillens and the Vernon Street artists another opportunity to see and display art.
“It’s kind of a nice way for people to have a very relaxed approach to seeing the Open Studios,” said Balchunas, who does both painting and illustrating in two distinct styles. “I like supporting the arts. I think as an artist, if you want to see the arts thrive, you have to take an active yourself as well.”
Vernon Street artist Suzanne Lubeck
Balchunas said that being a part of Vernon Street Studios has been a great way for her to get to know other artists in the area and driven her to “help spread the word about how art-rich Somerville is.”
Vernon Street has held a fall Open Studios in past years, but the event was moved to December this year to accommodate the busy election season and encourage people to shop locally for holiday gifts.
“Instead of buying something at a chain store, think about buying something locally from an artist,” Balchunas said. “You can think of artists as small entrepreneurs. They’re local. I’m supporting my local business by supporting an artist and buying something unique and special that I can’t find anywhere else.”
Vernon Street Open Studios
6 and 20 Vernon St.
Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2, noon-6 p.m.
P.S. Check out some of the Vernon Street artists in this post from the May Open Studios!